May 2020 Volume LV Number 3

 
 
 
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A Message from Your President

May 2020 Volume LV Number 3

 Like a Star, AAPD Shines Bright During These Trying Times
 
As spring quickly approaches, it is nice to enjoy being outside and on a clear night, the beauty of a star lit sky can be appreciated! Not only do stars burn bright, but AAPD will help us through this coronavirus pandemic and shine bright as another annual meeting approaches.
 
Typically, this final presidential editorial is welcoming you to the Annual Session. As I have presented to you all, the AAPD board of trustees voted to cancel AAPD 2020. It was absolutely necessary to ensure the safety of our members and families. The understanding I have received from members has been overwhelming and I extend my thanks to you all!
 
The AAPD has addressed the COVID-19 crisis by providing a specific area on our website for members to receive up-to-date informa- tion on the status of the virus, mandates being imposed and ways to seek financial support opportunities, as we are basically providing only emergency care. Just like your offices, AAPD has become as financially conservative as possible, while maintaining the excellent member- ship services you deserve as a member. The AAPD Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center, as well as our communications and media support staff, have worked around the clock to meet the challenges COVID-19 has presented and to get information to you. The AAPD has collaborated with the ADA and others in encouraging legislative support of small businesses. And, the AAPD Little Teeth Chat community available online has allowed for personal and group communications, as well as exchange of information between our members.
 
This past year we had the first Safety Symposium, "Hidden Threats and Safe Practices: Steps to Creating a Safe Dental Home". This course set the foundation for safety issues to be addressed in the future.
 
AAPD Councils and Committees have diligently worked on their changes. You will note many updates in our Reference Manual this year. I extend my sincere thanks to all Council/Committee Chairs and Members for their contributions.
 
I returned from our annual Pediatric Oral Health Advocacy Conference at the first of March, where over 350 attendees were instructed and engaged in oral health advocacy. The 12 million dollar Title VII funding through the United States Health Resources and Services Administration was funded this year and we all advocated for the continuance of funding for next year. Other legislative priorities included the Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program, Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act and the Resident Education Deferred Interest Act. I had the privilege of introducing Dr. Heber Simmons, our long-standing AAPD Congressional Liaison, and thanking him for his exceptional service!
 
I am delighted to report that every category of AAPD membership increased this year, our memberships now standing at 10,694 strong, every member striving to meet the AAPD vision of optimal oral health for all children.
 
The AAPD Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center has been very busy this year, providing information to health care organi- zations, state dental boards and the public-at-large. The quick response they have to publications and policy document reviews from other organizations is impressive and profound.
 
I had the privilege of welcoming the Cohort VI Group of the AAPD-AAPD Foundation-Ultradent Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management Leadership Institute. It was wonderful to interact with our leaders of the future.
 
Yes, AAPD shines bright during these difficult times and as we move forward. I wanted to extend my thanks to the AAPD board of trustees for their volunteer commitment to help AAPD achieve its vision and mission. I also thank the AAPD Executive Committee, all who are dedicated and thoughtful. Dr. Jessica Lee is an exceptional leader and will be an outstanding AAPD President! Finally, I cannot thank our AAPD CEO Dr. John Rutkauskas enough for his unwavering leadership of excellence. The tremendous AAPD staff, as well as Paul Amundsen and the AAPD Foundation team, shine bright as they enthusiastically work for the well-being of children. Thank you all!
 
I want to thank our entire membership, who daily advance the oral health of children. It has been my honor to represent the AAPD as president this past year and a privilege to help move the Academy forward. Thank you all for your trust and support! As you return to the daily comprehensive oral care for infants, children, adolescents and patients with special health care needs, your dental home will continue to shine bright as to where children can go for continual, comprehensive and compassionate oral health care.
 

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